25 February 2007

"Are There Any More At Home Like You?"

An item in Walter Winchell's column of 23 June 1944:

"A Baltimore paper reported an auction sale included a pearl, once owned by a Florodora Girl. The auctioneer stated: 'We are not at liberty to reveal the name, but it is a family that would not care to be listed as part of the Florodora Sextet.' What a story O. Henry could have done on that!"

Although this image of New York City's Broadway is simply dated "1920," let's examine it a bit more closely.

It appears to be early afternoon, judging by the angle of shadows cast by pedestrians and street lamps, and the theaters and signage places us at the corner of East 38th Street --- looking uptown along Broadway.

The Knickerbocker Theater is featuring "Listen Lester," a forgotten musical comedy featuring Gertrude Vanderbilt and Clifton Webb, and the Casino Theater is home to "A Lonely Romeo," an equally obscure production that starred Lew Fields amidst a large cast that included his son, Herbert --- who'd eventually turn from performing to writing the books for an impressive string of Broadway musical successes.

Just around the corner from the Casino Theater, on 39th Street, is the Maxine Elliott Theater (an illuminated sign with a pointing hand indicates the way), then featuring the play "39 East," with a cast that included Henry Hull and Allison Skipworth --- while the Winter Garden Theater gamely lures audiences uptown to it's 50th Street location, where "Monte Cristo, Jr." was playing again after being suspended for a month due to an Actor's Equity strike. Described as a "Musical Extravaganza," with melody supplied by Sigmund Romberg and Jean Schwartz, the massive cast contained but a few names recognizable today --- among them, Charles "Chic" Sale and female vocalist Esther Walker.

The productions in place at the time this photograph was taken suggests that it's date of origin is 1919 --- specifically July or August of 1919, and not 1920, as indicated on the photo itself.

By 1930, both the Knickerbocker (1893) and Casino (1882) Theaters would be demolished, and thirty years later the Maxine Elliott (1908) would vanish too --- the last remaining Broadway house below 41st street --- after serving duty as both a radio and television studio for CBS. It's ironic that out of all the theaters represented in the photo, only the Winter Garden --- once thought to be oddly placed, so far uptown as it was, is the only survivor --- and still thriving today.

The Casino Theater, seen here in a much earlier view which reveals its graceful yet majestic East 39th Street side, it's cupola already blackened with the city's coal soot after only fifteen or so years, would --- in time --- be forever linked with the musical production that opened there on November 10th if 1900, "Florodora," as well as the women --- girls, really --- that made up The Florodora Sextet.

Back in 1900, on that November night, New York City was very much excited. A new show was opening at the Casino Theater. A long line of fashionable carriages were heading for Broadway and 39th street, where the playhouse stood. Silken ladies and gentlemen in dinner clothes and spats were filling the house.

The curtain went up. The show began, and before it had ended, six girls had stolen the show. They had been rehearsing for eight weeks, and they slipped into their roles of half a dozen unsophisticated maidens easily.

It wasn't hard to do. Only two of them had been on the stage before. They all came from quiet, cultured families. There was nothing of the madcap, gallivanting show girl about them. They were sweet --- and the Broadway of 1900 wanted them sweet.

Indeed, on the same December 1900 page that featured a glowing review of "Florodora," (image detail of which is offered right) is a review of a production that opened the same week (at the Criterion Theater) "The Gay Lord Quex," which made "Florodora" seem almost a religious experience by comparison. The astonishing sputtering, apoplectic review is worth excerpting here:

"One of the most uncompromisingly filthy plays ever seen in New York, and it is a shame that its representation is permitted by the police. Not one of the low burlesque theaters, which no decent person would think of visiting, would dare present such an unblushingly bawdy work for fear of clashing with the police. One redeeming feature of this festering mess is that its power for harm is limited to the theater, as it would be simply impossible to discuss in the drawing room. It is dull, soggy nastiness, pure and simple. Its basis is immorality, its development is immorality, its atmosphere is immorality and its sequence is immorality. There is not a single wholesome character in 'The Gay Lord Quex,' and, if we except the aged dowager, not a single really decent one."

Starring John and Gilbert Hare, along with Irene Vanbrugh, "The Gay Lord Quex" closed after a furtive sixty-seven performances, but would attempt a revival --- seventeen years later to the day, in 1917 with John and Louise Drew in the leads this time --- that performed even more poorly, closing after forty performances.

I'm sure you're wondering, as I was, just what "The Gay Lord Quex" was all about and what so infuriated critics and public alike, aren't you? Proving just how vast our distance from 1900 is today, a synopsis of the show reads like simple and bland fare indeed: "Sophy Fullgarney is a manicurist who learns that her foster sister Muriel is to be married, apparently much against her will, to the Marquis of Quex, a professedly reformed roue who is known as 'the wickedest man in London.' She determines to prevent their union and in doing so spies upon the titled gentleman and one of his ex-flames, a married woman, thereby getting herself into compromising situations with Quex and the younger lover of Muriel, who turns out to be the greater rascal of the two."

Reverting our attention to "Florodora," a portion of it's December 1900 review is very much in order here:

"At the outset, it may be said that 'Florodora' is one of the best works of its kind that this city has seen during several seasons. While the libretto is not startlingly original or unusually brilliant, it is clean always, even interesting at times and on the whole thoroughly acceptable. The music is bright, jingly and yet of the musical quality which composers strive after and so seldom achieve. There are any number of airs which are certain to become popular, if not with the street urchins, at least with the lady who occasionally 'favors' at the piano when company calls. The stage management was something to marvel at for the reason that the effect of constant movement was produced without the slightest apparent effort. The costuming was in excellent taste, and some of the color schemes were really unique and exceptionally effective. A rather novel feature of 'Florodora' is that it was devoid of tights with the exception of a single pair worn by the prima donna, Miss Johnston, which by reason of the fact that they were not compelled to vie with scores of others, were all the more effective."

As the review suggests, it took "Florodora" a few weeks to click, but when the tide turned the Florodora Sextet girls were largely responsible for the production turning from modest entertainment to a world wide phenomenon. New York society fawned over the girls, and at once everyone wanted to hear them, see them and meet them. They were invited to teas on Fifth Avenue. Affluent males of all ages, attending performances at the Metropolitan Opera House kept track of the time --- and a few minutes before the sextet was scheduled to sing, they would slip away, just long enough to witness their showcase number, "Tell Me Pretty Maiden," and then return to their wives, girlfriends and families at the Metropolitan --- oddly flushed and exhilarated, seemingly by whatever beefy contralto was then holding reign on stage.

In truth, there were many Florodora Girls. As the original six left the show, they were replaced. Their successors, going on to other shows or marriages, had to find substitutes as well. Then too, managers of several theaters obtained permission to book their own Sextets as the "Original Six." All in all, thousands of girls would profit by the name.


But, the six who opened the show were Marjorie Relyea, Daisy Greene, Margaret Walker, Vaughn Texsmith, Marie Wilson and Agnes Wayburn.


Marjorie Relyea, pictured left circa 1900, was the first girl hired for the sextet, and recalled in a 1933 interview, "I had played in 'Mam'selle 'Awkins,' which was my first stage venture. In August I was engaged for the sextet, and the play opened in November."

"All the girls in the sextet were ladies in the real sense of the word. The movie produced several years ago ("The Florodora Girl" - a 1930 MGM film starring Marion Davies) was centered around the sextet, wasn't true at all. We have all been indignant over it. We were never that type of girl!"

Marjorie Relyea was married before she entered the play, to William D. Holmes, a handsome young heir of an aristocratic family and relative of Andrew Carnegie. Money and looks aside, Marjorie Relyea discovered he was an alcoholic as well, and welcomed the opportunity to escape the poisonous atmosphere at home. "He was willing to support me," said Relyea, "but I couldn't stay at home under the conditions. That's why I went onto the stage. On the night we opened in New Haven, my husband fell over dead." Eventually moving on from "Florodora," Marjorie Relyea would appear in three additional productions before being wooed and won by Albert Stokes, a Wall Street broker, in 1905. At the time of her 1933 interview, Mrs. Albert Stokes and her husband had a luxurious New York apartment and a home in Saratoga, and claimed she "never missed the stage at all."

Agnes Wayburn was also married at the time "Florodora" premiered, albeit unhappily, to dance instructor Ned Wayburn. Appearing in "Florodora" for a mere two weeks, she suddenly left the show, and dodged in and out of three other shows between 1901 and 1902 somewhat frantically, and then divorced her husband and hopped a steamer for England to continue her career there. In short order, she hooked up with a wealthy fellow from Johannesburg, South Africa, married him and went home with him to his plantation where, in 1933, she still was.

Daisy Greene was the youngest member of the Florodora Sextet, just fifteen when she joined the show, but remaining longer with the production than any of the other girls. She would continue to perform on Broadway through 1909 --- which included an appearance in "The Ziegfeld Follies of 1908," before being wed to a wealthy mining man from Colorado named Waterman, to whom she was still married in 1933, with the pair living happily in Denver.

Marie Wilson, too, had been married at the time she joined "Florodora," to a fellow named Harry Wimsatt. When "Florodora" skyrocketed, Marie left Wimsatt --- all the better to play up the reputation as the most glamorous member of the group that the press had bestowed upon her. Chumming up to various Wall Street types resulted in a number of lucrative stock market tips that eventually netted her some $750,000.00 in profits. Not surprisingly, she retired soon after that (following an appearance in the 1904 musical "Glittering Gloria") and married the well known playboy Fred Gebhardt, who spent money --- both his and hers, spectacularly. Upon Gebhardt's death, Marie Wilson moved to Washington, where she still lived in 1933.

Also privy to inside stock tips was Margaret Walker, who earned a tidy sum in Wall Street profits, and then went abroad to "study music" after leaving "Florodora." She too was reported to have married a millionaire, but a divorce followed and in the 1920's she was revealed to be the companion for an unnamed wealthy and elderly woman on Long Island, New York. When the dowager passed away, she left Margaret Walker enough money to make her independently wealthy. At this point, after a twenty-two year absence from the stage, Walker suddenly turned up in the aptly titled 1925 stage play "Lucky Break," and then continued to perform --- primarily in revivals of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, until 1935.

The final member of the original Florodora sextet, Vaughn Texsmith (actually Vaughn Smith, but show managers tweaked it to incorporate the name of her birth state, Texas) caught the eye of one Isaac J. Hall, a silk manufacturer from New Jersey. Hall would later admit that he paid keen attention to Vaughn because he believed a girl from Texas would be seen carrying a knife or sporting a sombrero. Ignorance aside, Hall enchanted Vaughn, and by the end of the first month's run of "Florodora," Texsmith had left the show and made the hop to New Jersey with her new husband. When Isaac J. Hall passed on in the 1920's, Vaughn took over the management of her husband's silk mills and greatly increased their output. By 1933 she was considered a social leader in the East, and a much admired and established female business executive.

After concluding it's run in 1905, during which "Florodora" moved from the Casino to the New York Winter Garden Theater (not to be confused with the 50th Street Winter Garden) and then to the Broadway Theater (demolished in 1929) before being left to repose as a cherished memory --- a 1900 violet corsage pressed between the pages of a book of another day and time in entertainment history.

A 1920 revival was staged at New York's Century Theater --- an advertisement for which lurks within this photograph of the Atlantic City boardwalk (can you spot it?) but uprooted from 1900, it couldn't and didn't survive --- expiring in the unfamiliar 1920 air after sixty-four performances before skulking away to comforting isolation, removed from the glare of close inspection and critique by audiences the production was never intended for.

The 1930 M.G.M. film that was said to so irk members of the original "Florodora" sextet is agreeable enough entertainment, although best viewed with the understanding that virtually nothing it represented in connection with the show (and to a lesser degree, the period of the show itself) has much to do with reality.

Starting with the opening sequence itself, in which a huge illuminated sign for both the theater and production is seen (electrical signs of this sort wouldn't arrive until after "Florodora" had closed) the 1930 film never really manages to create a sense of period authenticity, and the florid period in which the film is set is presented as if within a vacuum sealed bell jar containing tiny porcelain figures --- stiff and unreal as they are delicately pretty.

The settings are dull and oddly claustrophobic by MGM standards and the film never "opens up" in the way it should have, allowing the richly costumed performers (the studio did get it right in that aspect) to move and seemingly live within expansive sets other than the unimaginatively lit and photographed overly obvious mock-ups that the film offers. Even the few outdoor location sequences, that include a city park, a beach and a racetrack, seem inordinately staged and unreal --- tiny slices of real locations that don't feel as though they exist beyond the borders of the film's frame.

(Pictured right, the lobby of Hollywood's Pantages Theater, during the run of 1930's "The Florodora Girl.")

Never finding the same magical spark in Marion Davies that others seem to (and perhaps that's my fault) she strikes me as just another capable performer amidst an equally capable cast that really isn't given much to do once dressed up prettily and put before the camera. The film never misses a chance to point up the difference between 1900 and 1930 whenever it can, all obvious differences that should have been left to speak for themselves rather than be underlined time and again in a tiresome, poke to the ribcage manner.

As it is, the entire length of the film seems a build-up to the expected re-creation of the famous "Tell Me Pretty Maiden" Florodora Sextet number, moving along in fits and starts until this sequence arrives in the film's final Technicolor reel. Even here, artistic liberties are taken. In addition to never being given a full, uninterrupted presentation, the sequence is set upon a fairly expansive stage that while faithfully duplicating the backdrop seen in period photographs, is considerably larger than the Casino Theater's surprisingly small stage, which can be glimpsed in the 1901 photograph offered here. (Note the close proximity of the performers to the orchestra pit!) Despite that, it's within this imperfect final reel that the 1930 film blossoms and pays off, with the still beautiful, slightly muted early Technicolor tints rendering what seems to be a lovingly hand tinted 1900 postcard view of "Florodora" as it existed, and continues to exist, in our imagination --- or perhaps only in our imagination.

The original Florodora Sextet would receive scattered mention in newsprint over the coming years and decades, during which they slowly fell away, one by one. All still very much alive in 1933, they were all supposedly approached by Broadway theatrical producer Dwight Deere Wiman with an eye towards featuring them in a new production, but they all politely declined the offer. Acting as spokesman for the group, Marjorie Relya --- then Mrs. Albert Stokes of New York, said "Of course we won't. We are scattered to the four corners of the world now, and we have achieved happiness and success. There wouldn't be any reason at all for coming back to the stage."

As the 50th Anniversary of "Florodora" approached in November of 1950, the two surviving members of the sextet were sought out. Vaughn Texsmith (Mrs. Isaac Hall of Paterson, New Jersey) and Marie Wilson (Mrs. Fred Gebhardt of Washington, D.C.) --- both elderly but surprisingly active widows, were understandably reluctant to comment on the events of fifty years hence. "I'd rather be forgotten," stated Mrs. Hall to reporters. "I was in the show for only six weeks and it was a very small part of my life. I can't have any sentiments about those days. I'm much to busy taking care of my varied interests."

Mrs. Gebhardt was a bit more kind to the show that had, whether they chose to admit it or not, allowed them to live the lives that they all enjoyed. Admitting she "enjoyed every minute" of her involvement with "Florodora," she still felt compelled to add "it's all in the past now, and I would rather forget about it --- and I hope the public will too." Will we? For the most part, we already have --- but like all beautiful dreams, even those half remembered, it's lovely to reflect upon them every now and again, and give sigh for their passing... far too soon, and far too long ago.

Given the vintage of "Florodora," there's understandably little of it that survives in the way of period recordings, and those recordings that do survive often sound incredibly harsh to modern ears, given the still primitive recording techniques available. While not exceptionally notable music-wise, it's surprising nonethless that a period authentic audio re-creation has never been attempted --- but perhaps it's just as well, for any such attempts of the 1950's through the 1970's are invariably grotesque distortions.

Two surprisingly clean and (comparatively) rich cylinder recordings of 1902 are offered here, representing the production's two biggest successes --- although only one still manages to defy time and convention to sparkle nearly as brightly as it did one hundred and seven years ago. I had to pause just now while writing that, as it's genuinely remarkable to contemplate listening to voices of 107 years ago, a remarkable feat we ought not take for granted as we do, really.

The lesser known of the two, "The Shade of the Palm," is performed here by Frank C. Stanley:

"In the Shade of the Palm" (1902)


And then, of course, there's "Tell Me Pretty Maiden," as performed here by The Edison Sextet --- and while still a bit rough going, audio wise, it's a far richer recording than is usually heard of this tune, with a bit of cello and the piping of a piccolo adding an attractive fullness to it all.

"Tell Me Pretty Maiden" (1902)

"Florodora" or the visualization of the Florodora Girl would figure heavily in films of the early sound period, ripe as it was for parody by that time in much the same way we now hold the music and styles of the 1970's up to ridicule.

"Tell Me Pretty Maiden" is parodied by Rosetta and Vivian Duncan in 1929's "It's A Great Life," with Rosetta adjusting the lyrics to comic effect ("Tell me, painted oil can," she begins the song) while Vivian struts about in a grotesquely large bustle leaving Vivian to wonder if it is, or isn't actually part of her anatomy.

Warner Bros. asked "What Became of the Six Original Florodora Boys?" in their 1929 revue "Show of Shows," as valid a question then as it is now (although a doubtful prospect for an entry in these pages) and it was suggested that they all returned to perfectly ordinary workaday lives --- which is probably true, if not precisely as comic as the revue suggested. Presentation is everything here, for the most unlikely candidates for Florodora Boys are utilized in the number, which included the likes of Ben Turpin, Lupino Lane and Bert Roach.

Fannie Brice introduced "I Was A Florodora Baby" in an early 1920's edition of "The Ziegfeld Follies," and would re-create the performance for the 1928 Warner Bros. film "My Man," an excerpt of which is offered next --- interestingly, with no alteration to the lyric that refers to the show of "twenty years ago," accurate in 1920 --- less so in 1928.

Casting herself as the only (imaginary, of course) member of the sextet to escape fame and fortune, Brice's unique self-depreciating style allows us to laugh at the hapless victim of circumstance, left to live happily --- albeit sparsely, on 17 Delancey Street --- forever, bringing up her own sextet ("five I've got, the other one I'll get yet.")

"I Was A Florodora Baby" (1928)



Set in the seamstress shop where Brice works, "Florodora Baby" is performed to entertain her co-workers, but her antics outrage the shop's owner, who threatens her with immediate dismissal. Also present however, is an elegantly European accented theatrical producer who only caught the tag end of her performance and prompts her to do another. Brice obliges with "I'm An Indian," a tune she first recorded in 1921. Both the original recording, and the version performed in the 1928 (mostly talking) "My Man" are offered here, as it's likely the best opportunity to do so.

"I'm An Indian" (1921)

"I'm An Indian" (1928)

This blog's next post will be typically more diverse than this entry may have seemed, but I didn't want to attach too many ornaments to a topic that I felt worthy of standing alone --- after so many years of barely standing at all.

So, watch this space for the next entry, currently in progress and expected to post within 24 hours!

###

View of the Casino Theater, 1920


Theater Review, December 1900


Miss Ada Reeve, Florodora Girl, UK Production


Cross Promotion Ad for "The Florodora Girl" (MGM-1930)



"Florodora" proved to be an early 20th Century
marketing bonanza, with the production's name licensed
for use in connection with countless products between 1901 and 1905.

"Florodora" Shoes, Illinois - 1903

"Florodora" Cookies - Fort Wayne, Indiana - 1902


"Florodora" Chocolates - Mansfield, Ohio - 1903


Contest held by the "Florodora Tag Company," - 1904


"Florodora" Suits - New York, NY - 1901


"Florodora" Scarves - Atlanta, Georgia - 1901


"Florodora"Sextet Patent Medicine Endorsement - Syracuse, NY - 1901


Note:
The British web site, "Victorian and Edwardian Shows," is utterly unique
in that it contains the entire scores to what looks to be well over a hundred
popular musicals of the period --- all carefully transcribed and converted to
the MIDI format. The following link will direct you to the page for "Florodora,"
where you can download both the score and an exceptionally fine MIDI player (both surprisingly small files) that will allow you to not only listen to the score, but also to see the lyrics --- properly timed to the music --- while you're listening. The effect is as startling
as it is effective, and will please the merely curious as well as the serious student
of this largely overlooked period in musical theater history.

"Florodora" - Colin M. Johnson's Victorian and Edwardian Show Transcriptions

It's an astounding example of one man's devotion.
Be sure to explore his entire web site!

~~~

An .mp3 transfer of the MIDI file for "Tell Me Pretty Maiden" is
offered here --- as well as the complete lyrics, as a convenience.
The seldom heard second chorus, in which the the girls
"turn the tables" on the boys, is especially interesting,
and rather jolting for a 1900 production!

"Tell Me Pretty Maiden"

((intro))

Boys:
Tell me pretty maiden, are there any more at home like you?
Girls:
There are a few kind sir, but simple girls, and proper too.
Boys:
Then tell me pretty maiden, what these very simple girlies do.
Girls:
Kind sir, their manners are perfection, and the opposite of mine.
Boys:
Then take a little walk with me,
and then I can see,
what a most particular girl should be.
Girls:
I may love you too well
to let you go
and flirt with those at home you know.
Boys:
Well don't mind little girl,
You'll see -- I'll only want but you.
Girls:
It's not quite fair to them
if you -- told them that you were true.
Boys:
I won't care a pin for your sisters if you love me.
Girls:
What would you say if I said I liked you well?
Boys:
I'd vow to you...
Girls:
On bended knee?
Boys:
On bended knee!
Girls:
If I loved you -- would you tell me what I ought to do,
to keep you all mine alone,
to always be true to me?
If I loved you -- would it be a silly thing to do?
For I must love someone...
Boys:
Then why not me?
Girls:
Yes I must love someone really,
and it might as well be you!

(bridge)

Girls:
Tell me gentle stranger, are there any more at home like you?
Boys:
There are a few, sweet maid, and hotter boys you never knew.
Girls:
Then tell me gentle Sir, the things these very rakish fellows do.
Boys:
Dear maid, they flirt with girls too freely,
and it's not the same girl twice.
Girls:
Then take me round and let them show for an hour or so,
how far such fellows can really go.
Boys:
I never introduce them to a girl I intend
to be my most particular friend.
Girls:
I won't mind what they do, no man would ever flirt with me.
Boys:
It's not worth risking it,
I know with them you won't agree.
Girls:
I don't want to know them,
if you will do the flirting.
Boys:
Of course, I will try, for we're doing very well.
Girls:
I'll vow to you...
Boys:
On bended knee?
Girls:
On bended knee!
Boys:
If I loved you, would you tell me what I ought to do,
to keep you all mine alone,
to always be true to me?
Girls:
If I loved you, would it be a silly thing to do?
For I must love someone...
Boys:
Then why not me?
Girls and Boys:
Yes, I must love someone, really,
and it might as well be you!

((Outro))



###

11 comments:

Joe said...

Jeff: What a nice tale about "Floradora", something often mentioned in books, but rarely described. Note the streetcars visible in the 1919 Broadway photo. The entrance doors are in the center and the cars are what would now be called "low floor" transit vehicles. At the time these were called "hobbleskirt" cars because the long, tight skirt styles popular in the teens made it difficult for women to step up into streetcars.

Regards,
Joe Thompson ;0)

Jeff Cohen said...

In regards to long skirts, and streetcars, it's always fun to watch period films to note how beautifully they handled the task!

So unlike the starlets on view at the Oscar ceremonies, all of whom seemed completely baffled as to how to walk, move or sit in a gown that extended past their knee.

Just one of many simple, graceful everyday, common place acts --- like tipping a hat, (or wearing one, for that matter) that have fallen by the wayside in our current definition of progress.

Thanks for writing, Joe!

Jeff

Joseph F. Crater (again) said...

As usual, a WB cartoon comment. Friz Freleng, a great lover of musical gags, was doing Floradora jokes even unto the late 1940s, with his cartoon "The Gay Anties," showing a sextette of ant-ettes doing a Floradora-like dance, complete with bustle (olive-induced) and flower gown and parasol. The sequence is done with a charm that indicates Friz was fond of the original.

East Side said...

Each time you post old photos of New York, I find myself trying to physically put myself into the street scene. Let me know if you ever have that option available!

Jeff Cohen said...

Judge Crater: I'm sure references to "Florodora" in animation are many and varied, and I'm sure I recall one in a Fleisher cartoon, details of which escape me --- but it was a period piece, so to speak.

Then too, there's parodies in comedy shorts, such as "Our Gang Follies of 1936," in which the gang dresses up as Florodora Girls and do a less than dainty dance set to Ethelbert Nevin's "Narcissus," while being harassed by a monkey. (Odd the things one remembers!)

What's my name? Oh yes...

Jeff


Jeff

Jeff Cohen said...

East Side : If I had the option to transport myself into these photos, do you think I'd be here now? ;)

Actually, I'd probably go on a gun toting rampage into the projection booth of every theater I can find, and carry back pristine 35mmm prints of every film I could lay my hand on!

Jeff

bearden said...

Jeff said he'd

"carry back pristine 35mmm prints of every film I could lay my hand on!"

And you'd make them available to us all on DVD or downloadable on the web would you not!!

No locking them up in archives and having a showing once every 20 years!

I've been humming "Tell me pretty maiden" all week now. I love that second chorus - "hotter boys"!

marmelmm said...

BTW, the 1900 Floradora tunes sound pretty good on a 2000 vintage PowerBook. Must be the teensy speakers...

Jeff Cohen said...

Marmel: Time was I used to fret over how these audio files were being listened to, as I'd hear from readers who claimed "everything sounds terrible" (they were using their monitor's built-in speakers) and other users who marveled at the fidelity of the material (they rigged their computer audio to play through their home's main home theater audio system) --- so, I just don't think about it now. As for me, I create and master all audio using a pair of Bose headphones --- and everything does indeed sound darn good! :)

Barbara said...

Nice to read a detailed history of the "Flora Dora" show and the original girls who made up the sextet. Marjorie Relyea was my grandfather's aunt, so it was nice to see so much on her posted here. Wish I could find more on her. Barbara in AZ
p e a c h y g o o d @ h o t m a i l

aldi said...

Much talk of the original Florodora girls but of course these were not the originals. Florodora was an English musical which had premiered in London in 1899. It is there we must seek for the originals. Having said that though I must add that I loved the article, which is up to the incredibly high standard of your blog, which I do miss terribly.